Wth that context, it was a little surprising to read an editorial like this one in today's Seattle Times:
Elevating Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to pope is a bit like putting the school vice-principal for discipline in charge.
"Cardinal Ratzinger seems determined to push the church backward to dinosaurlike extinction," a Seattle Times letter writer opined in 1986. The cardinal was behind Vatican reprimands of former Seattle Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen for a lack of firmness in running the diocese and upholding church teachings.
... Now, Pope Benedict XVI will carry the church forth in his own right, though in a way not discernibly different from how things have been done for the past 26 years — or 1,000, for that matter.